Effects of inservice education on knowledge, empathy, and practices of teachers for students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

James M Javorsky, Purdue University


During the past decade, the U.S. Department of Education-Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded several projects designed to develop, implement, and evaluate professional development programs (i.e., inservice education) for educators who teach children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). With support from the OSEP, the Activity- and Novelty-Based (A.NB) curriculum was a designed to address the increased prevalence of AD/HD, magnitude of their academic and social problems, and the fact that a significant percentage of these students are placed in general education classrooms without supplementary services. To evaluate the effectiveness of the A.NB curriculum, the author implemented a three month field study in which this curriculum was compared to a professional AD/HD workshop presented by a local school district (LEA). Comparisons were based on measures of teachers' ratings of empathy, student behavior, classroom practices, which were assessed at pre- and post-inservice (i.e., after three months). In addition, weekly behavior counts of teacher practices and student behavior were collected. This study differs from previous evaluations of OSEP funded AD/HD inservice programs in that a comparison inservice condition was used with multiple measures. Findings indicated that participants trained in the A.NB curriculum employed more positive methods associated with the curriculum three months after inservice education, were more empathic, and more willing to accommodate for individual differences in their classrooms than the LEA group. After three months, participants in the A.NB curriculum group reported an improvement in their classroom averages on the ACTeRS Social Skills Rating Scale. Finally, the participants who received the additional day of training in functional behavior analysis reported significant improvements for their students' ACTeRS Hyperactivity and Oppositionality rating. Additional findings across inservice conditions provide support to the use of inservice education for preparing teachers to work with children with AD/HD. Several findings were also documented for the LEA suggesting collaboration between local specialists and university researchers may be beneficial. ^




Major Professor: Sydney S. Zentall, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Special|Education, Teacher Training

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